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  5. "Why are they here without th…

"Why are they here without their families?"

Translation:Proč tady jsou bez rodin?

February 4, 2018



The English sentence ends with "... without THEIR families". The Czech sentence simply ends with "... bez rodin". Should not the Czech include the plural possessive pronoun?


It is implied in Czech but it is much more common to use it in English.


Is there a way to know this is implied and when not?


Czech simply uses possessives much less. If it is not there and it should be there in English, it is likely implied.


I am trying to learn CZ and often go to these discussions to learn why something is written the way it is. When ALL comments are in Cz I unable to follow and learn NOTHING. Please help us newbie by commenting in English.


Most often those comments come from Czech students learning English and the explanations usually concern the English language in a way understandable to the student.

Or like this, when Czech speakers ask why some particular translation was chosen and not some other one, often forgetting that the Czech sentence is the original element, not a translation of the English sentence.


"Proč jsou tady bez svých rodin?" je snad přesnější překlad.


V češtině ne, je to zbytečné.


No, já po zkusenostech s AE v češtině docela rozlišuji svých a jejich. A zde their umožňuje obě možnosti. Protože může znamenat , že zde měli být s rodinami například znepřátelené strany. Proto jsem přistoupil na zdůraznění nejpravděpodobnějšího překladu, nikoliv však jediného možného.


Jak svých tak jejich je uznáváno pro možné zdůraznění, ale není třeba.


Why is "tady" placed before "jsou" here? Do adverbs of place, or adverbs generally, have to come before the verb in question phrases? Also not sure why "rodin" is used rather than "rodiny" (which I thought was the plural, or is that the accusative singular?). Is "rodin" a genitive form? Do words following "bez" have to take the genitive case? Or is there some other rule? Many thanks in advance for any help you can provide.


It is placed there because it can be. No, adverbs do not generally have to come before the verb, in questions or otherwise. A longer version is that neither adverbs nor verbs are created the same. Both of these, "tady" and "jsou", act as something called "inconstant clitics", which are words (and phrases) that like to be placed after the first completed clause constituent. Neither has a stronger affinity for that spot, so their cluster can come in either order. Other verbs than the positive present copula ("jsou" in this case) usually do not have the "inconstant clitic" status, so if we had, say

  • Proč tady nemají rodiny?

it is no longer arbitrary between the verb and the adverb, and the version with the two swapped is appreciably less idiomatic. And not all adverbs share the clitic behavior of "tady".

Yes, "rodin" is the plural genitive form, and yes, the genitive is required after "bez". (And "rodiny" is both the singular genitive and the plural nominative.) It would be best if you found your way to the "Tips and Notes" for the Family 1 skill. The button to open those is in the lesson launcher of the browser version of Duolingo.


Thank you most kindly for that very informative and helpful reply. That has really cleared up a lot for me. Here is a Lingot to show my appreciation. I did read the "Tips and Notes" before starting this skill, but there was a fair bit to take in and I probably forgot some of it. (That's not a complaint - I'm grateful for all the info, but there was quite a lot to absorb.) Clearly I need to read them again, maybe even several times to get the cases properly locked in. Anyway, many thanks once again.

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